Bedford Blues will be saying goodbye to another long-standing member of the squad after it was confirmed that fly half Jake Sharp will be joining Championship rivals London Scottish for the 2017/18 season.

Jake, 25, joined Bedford on dual-registration from Saracens in 2009/10 before making his move a permanent one a year later. A hugely influential player, Sharp battled tirelessly to make the number ten jersey his own while enjoying healthy competition with the likes of Myles Dorrian, Steffan Jones, Jamie Lennard, Mark Atkinson, Ian Vass and - briefly - his pal Owen Farrell.

Sharp exerts on the field have been clear for all to see and he played a major role in the club reaching the British and Irish Cup final in 2011 as well as the Championship final in 2013. He was also selected in the Championship XV that took on the Maori All Blacks in 2012 and was named in the Rugby Paper's Team of the Year last season.

In total, Jake has amassed 188 appearances in a Blues jersey scoring 698 points (23 tries, 155 conversions, 82 penalties and nine drop goals) in the process which makes him Bedford's sixth highest point scorer of all time.

Speaking about his departure, Sharp said: "This has been a very difficult decision for me to make as Bedford has been such a huge part of my rugby life. Playing 188 games for such a brilliant club at a reasonably young age is a personal achievement that I am very proud of. I came through the Saracens Academy, but it was Bedford who gave me the opportunity to play regular rugby and that enabled me to grow as a player.

"Having the support of all the coaches has helped me an amazing amount, but coming under the tutelage of Mike Rayer, Paul Larkin and Nick Walshe really helped me to grow as a fly half and I will always be grateful for their contribution to my development.

"It is not easy walking away from a place which has been a second home. The fans are always incredible and the support, especially of the followers, is quite remarkable and something the next set of players will discover very quickly. The club has provided me with the springboard to make myself as successful as possible in the game. I still have a lot of years left hopefully and felt it was time to take on a new challenge and widen my horizons.

"I would just like to reiterate how thankful I am to have been part of such a great club and to leave on good terms was something that I was very interested in and that has been the case. Who knows what the future holds? Rugby is an ever changing business and, of course, I will miss running down the slope!

"Thank you everyone at Bedford Blues. You'll always hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to running out at Goldington Road soon."

Bedford Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer added: "This is tough as Jake has played such an important role at the club since he joined as a teenager but we understand his reasons for moving on. Jake has plenty of aspirations both on and off the pitch and I'm sure that he will accomplish his goals. Everyone at Goldington Road wishes him nothing but good luck for the future."